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Messages - Admin

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1
Random / Re: What a got damn shitshow. [warning politics]
« on: Today at 09:13:35 AM »
I wasn't talking about the merits of the case, but the way Gorsuch handled the questioning. It would have been easy to deal with Franken's point. But Gorsuch looked flustered by a line of questioning that he must have encountered before, and he went all Washington Weasel "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" when asked direct questions about eg. if he'd have liked to be on the road with the guy. That part of Gorsuch's performance, at least, looked weak. These were not difficult questions but he flunked the opportunity to look like a plain-speaking normal individual rather than just another out-of-touch Stepford career-politician-cover-my-ass-at-all-costs type. And I thought you guys hated that type.

You are missing the point a bit. He is sitting to be a judge - not a politician (at least that is the hope, and on those grounds Gorsuch has been good). We want a judge who will adjudicate based on the law.  He is attempting to make the point that his personal opinion on the individual situation has no bearing on the case. Franken looked like a turd throughout the confirmation hearing, like he had no idea of what the SCOTUS function is.

Franken was making political points and ramping up the base.  He is well aware that Gorsuch is a smart guy and is not going to blunder on a litmus test question or partiality issue.  They weren't talking to each other at all.  Same room, two separate conversations.  They both look like they had an enjoyable time of it.  Gorsuch has been waiting to recite the words to get him through this since Law School.  Say those words and get the lifetime appointment.  Once on the bench I expect a Land's End version of Scalia.

2
Random / Re: What a got damn shitshow. [warning politics]
« on: March 23, 2017, 06:27:15 AM »
The Average (unsubsidized) annual cost of health insurance for a family was about $20,000 in 2016 here in the US.  (My small family of (3) paid a tad more than that for pretty marginal insurance). 

...and the median household income is 56K


3
Random / Re: What a got damn shitshow. [warning politics]
« on: March 23, 2017, 06:21:20 AM »
I'm not party to the numerous discussions that must happen in households throughout the US, so forgive me if I've got this wrong.

Let me quote our president, "Now, I have to tell you, it's an unbelievably complex subject. Nobody knew health care could be so complicated."

You are vastly overestimating the conversations that are taking place.  We are a simple people.  "our payment is what?".

Not to worry, "We have come up with a solution that's really, really I think very good."  I wish there could have been a third really, I think.

On a more serious note, the more nuanced president Obama talked about the Health insurance industry, which is a 1.2 Trillion dollar industry here.  While alternate modes such as single payer have allure, he was well aware that a disruption to a 1.2 Trillion dollar industry in an 18 Trillion dollar economy is easier said than done. 

4
Random / Re: What a got damn shitshow. [warning politics]
« on: March 23, 2017, 05:23:28 AM »
...This makes us unproportionally valuable to who?

Anyone who goes to bed at night wondering whether their part of the world will be annexed by Russia (for instance).


We have to spend 13 times what Russia does to feel safe at night?  How bout a teddy bear?

It's even worse than that, we outspend Russia 13/1, so others can feel safe.  Have we no shame?

So Trump's additional 54 Billion is so others can feel safe?  America First indeed.

5
Random / Re: What a got damn shitshow. [warning politics]
« on: March 23, 2017, 05:11:18 AM »
I'm a foreigner so don't really understand the US healthcare system or the proposed changes. But a brief reading of Ryancare on Wikipedia makes me wonder in what way the act would result in benefit for Trump's core supporters. The arguments presented there seem to suggest that older/poorer voters would likely lose out (and indeed, die earlier) relative to younger/richer ones. Is this correct? If it is, why would Trump be shafting his own voting base? If it isn't correct, who does the bill actually help, and why? I'm not sure I understand the logic of it, overall (but then again, as I say, I know nothing about the US healthcare system so please excuse me if this is a stupid question).

To understand this you have to understand the reality of Obamacare.  After all of the bloviating is through, Obamacare made healthcare significantly more expensive for most people.  You could stop reading this right there and already understand what set the stage for the current plan.  Did Obamcare insure anyone that was previously uninsured?  Yes. Did it prevent the bankrupting of some really sick people by insurmountable bills?  Yes.  While there is quite a bit of argument about how many people moved into the ranks of the insured, one thing is for sure, rates went way up for the huge majority and painfully so for many.  Keep in mind that wages have not increased and many people are entirely maxed out.  There are a lot of political topics where the population does not understand the nuances and those are easily BS'ed, but there was no selling into this shit.  People were paying their actual bills and Hillary clamoring on about "It was called Hillary Care first" was another way of saying "I'm a dipshit".

Obamacare was good intention reduced to garbage by committee.  But...the classic mistake is to assume that because something sucks that it can not be made worse.  It always can. 


6
Random / Re: What a got damn shitshow. [warning politics]
« on: March 22, 2017, 12:27:59 PM »
And I don't see how anyone can debate that the USA spends a disproportionate amount on NATO. The budget per member is supposed to be 2 percent of GDP. Only the United States, the United Kingdom, Greece, Estonia and Poland contribute that much. So yeah, France, Italy and Germany have underpaid for decades. Nobody bitched when Bernie Sanders made that point--in fact most people cheered, even though the numbers he used we not really defensible. Depending on how you do the math, the US provides between 22 and 75 percent of the cost of NATO, with real numbers being probably more than half but not three quarters. If you look at the cost of increasing operations and boots on the ground since the Ukraine situation (about $900 million), it's a bit more. It's inarguable that NATO is as important to European nations as the US (probably a lot more important). Seems like they should pay their share and/or do their share.

The funny thing about the NATO numbers is what is actually being considered.  The funds paid directly to NATO are relatively tiny.  What is being looked at is each country's spend on its own Military.  This individual military spend is noted as a percentage of its GDP. 

Our military burn is what it is for our own reasons.  Our relative percentage is so high because we have made completely Doofus decisions (Iraq, Apghanistan...) that have cost us Trillions and will continue to.  That and the fact that our Military industrial complex is a self perpetuating behemoth which requires constant feeding in increasing portions.  This makes us unproportionally valuable to who?

Yeah, I know, the direct total spend is about two billion. That's why the math is fuzzy and Bernie's 75 percent number wasn't accurate. If you do some digging you can get at some better numbers in terms of what gets actually deployed to Europe in support of NATO and/or represents readiness to defend europe. The number still isn't completely justifiable since a lot of the forward deployed stuff in Europe is in support of middle east and asian intervention. Straightforward deployed costs in europe come to about 60 percent of NATO expenditures. US direct NATO spend is about 22% of the cost.

The most legitimate and easiest number to come up with is that Germany, France and Italy have not met their obligations to NATO. Not for a long time. Either in direct contribution to costs or in readiness of troops and equipment. Good news/bad news. In the face of rising nationalism in Europe, how happy would people be with Germany spending 2% or more of their GDP on arms?

It's nonsense to worry about the cost of NATO in the face of an increase in defense spending on top of an already ludicrous 600 billion. But the sense of what both Bernie Sanders and President Trump maintain--that continental western europe doesn't hold up it's end of the NATO bargain--is correct.

The NATO agreement of 2% GDP is total defense spending. It's worth noting that given the US GDP of 18.56 trillion, our NATO commitment is $371 billion in defense spending--we actually spend 3.3 percent of GDP. Germany spent 1.2 %, about $30 billion short. France actually spent 2.1 percent in 2016--that surprised me. Italy spent 1.3 percent, about 20 billion short.

We are overspending our obligation by 60%.  This has nothing to do with NATO.  We would be doing exactly the same with no NATO.  Trump is aiming to add 54 Billion to that.  Our basic silence over other members not putting 2% of their GDP's into their own military's is that we like it that way.  We have allies, we have the appearance of unity, and we add justification to our already absurd and building burn. 

7
Random / Re: What a got damn shitshow. [warning politics]
« on: March 22, 2017, 12:06:28 PM »
...This makes us unproportionally valuable to who?

Anyone who goes to bed at night wondering whether their part of the world will be annexed by Russia (for instance).


We have to spend 13 times what Russia does to feel safe at night?  How bout a teddy bear?

8
Random / Re: What a got damn shitshow. [warning politics]
« on: March 22, 2017, 09:53:23 AM »
And I don't see how anyone can debate that the USA spends a disproportionate amount on NATO. The budget per member is supposed to be 2 percent of GDP. Only the United States, the United Kingdom, Greece, Estonia and Poland contribute that much. So yeah, France, Italy and Germany have underpaid for decades. Nobody bitched when Bernie Sanders made that point--in fact most people cheered, even though the numbers he used we not really defensible. Depending on how you do the math, the US provides between 22 and 75 percent of the cost of NATO, with real numbers being probably more than half but not three quarters. If you look at the cost of increasing operations and boots on the ground since the Ukraine situation (about $900 million), it's a bit more. It's inarguable that NATO is as important to European nations as the US (probably a lot more important). Seems like they should pay their share and/or do their share.

The funny thing about the NATO numbers is what is actually being considered.  The funds paid directly to NATO are relatively tiny.  What is being looked at is each country's spend on its own Military.  This individual military spend is noted as a percentage of its GDP. 

Our military burn is what it is for our own reasons.  Our relative percentage is so high because we have made completely Doofus decisions (Iraq, Apghanistan...) that have cost us Trillions and will continue to.  That and the fact that our Military industrial complex is a self perpetuating behemoth which requires constant feeding in increasing portions.  This makes us unproportionally valuable to who?   

9
Random / Re: What a got damn shitshow. [warning politics]
« on: March 20, 2017, 07:57:26 AM »
Cutting federal funding (in this case federal grants) does not mean that the programs will die.  It does mean that they will need to find state and local funding.  This could be disruptive and force agencies to find better and more innovative solutions.

Jimmy, don't think of it as me firing you, think of it as a home-otion.  An opportunity for personal growth. 

10
Random / Re: What a got damn shitshow. [warning politics]
« on: March 20, 2017, 07:00:37 AM »
This is the justification for cutting funding to those valuable programs so that we can afford to build 15 Billion dollar wall?  For adding 54 Billion to to a 600 Billion dollar military budget?

Our money may in some part be spent inefficiently, so let's burn it instead.




11
Downwind and Racing / Re: Back in the Hood
« on: March 20, 2017, 06:32:23 AM »
One thing to consider is that 95% of SUP downwinding is happening in the smaller bumps outside of the main channel.  The big swell do not form everywhere and they are not typically the fastest in terms of laying down record times.  The surf skis are in the swell zones a lot but not the SUP's.   That is not to say it doesn't happen.  In many of the best and most consistent big swell locations you are right in the mix and are in plain view (read on display).  It is very hard to look good on a SUP in the Gorge in the swell line on a big day and very few do.  There are some locations that get used much less that develop huge swells that would be epic for SUP.  That is something I would love to get footage of this summer.

Most downwinding footage is pretty bad.  Wide angle lenses and poor vantage points are to blame.  I do think that drone footage with zoom lenses will be a good answer.  I am ready to try.

12
Random / Re: What a got damn shitshow. [warning politics]
« on: March 20, 2017, 03:51:21 AM »
Thanks bean. Sniffed around and Meals wasn't targeted directly, but three different Federal Programs that feed (pun) it will be affected. Truth is hard to find. Still probably not fully informed.

We have 54 Billion to add to an already absurd military budget but we have to cut after school programs.  Why the cuts?  Not proven effective.  Clearly the same standard is not being applied to the military.  Same argument that was given for the proposed HUD cuts which help fund the state funded Meals on Wheels programs.  All are indicative of a callous disregard for real hardship. 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/trump-budget-casualty-afterschool-programs-for-16-million-kids-most-are-poor/2017/03/16/78802430-0a6f-11e7-b77c-0047d15a24e0_story.html?utm_term=.9625bbf330eb

13
Downwind and Racing / Re: Back in the Hood
« on: March 19, 2017, 12:26:28 PM »

It would be cool if you could find a place where the paddlers come near enough to the shore where you could get some good close up video of people riding waves.

A drone would also work.

I took these windsurfing shots 100-200 feet off shore.  We will try to get some good SUP video this summer.  This day would have tested the drone for sure:

http://www.standupzone.com/forum/index.php/topic,24142.msg243617.html#msg243617

14
Downwind and Racing / Re: Back in the Hood
« on: March 19, 2017, 09:32:43 AM »
Maybe I can get Admin to unlimber his Inspire2 and contribute.

I will be happy to help when I am not busy with my Geezer Foil 2 aerial documentary, GF2, Man in Tights.

15
Random / Re: What a got damn shitshow. [warning politics]
« on: March 19, 2017, 06:31:51 AM »
Your guy wants to kill of Meals on wheels. One trip to Mar-a-lago costs taxpayers the same as feeding 500k elderly. 

School lunches, Meals on Wheels, PBS.  All Deep State B.S. supported by Fake News.  Pitiful Ratings.  Sad.

We need to fund a wall, dude. 

Next up, consumption tax...whoops, Border adjustment, errrr, Big Border Tax.


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